Need all-night pharmacy? Go west, young wo/man

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QUESTION: I live in Post Falls and can’t find a 24-hour pharmacy. I’ve heard there’s one in Coeur d’Alene but it’s closing. Where can I go?

ANSWER: Let’s get to your actual question right off the bat. You can go to the state of Washington and be spoiled for choice.

More on that in a minute.

Meanwhile, the tale you heard about an all-night pharmacy in Coeur d’Alene is not quite accurate.

The Walgreens store at the corner of U.S. 95 and Appleway has been open non-stop since 2002 — and it is currently the only 24-hour pharmacy in Kootenai County.

“We’ve served people day and night, and some customers have come quite a distance,” said store manager Andrew Cass.

Just so we can put one rumor to rest, that store won’t be shutting its doors — at least not permanently.

But unfortunately for night owls and folks who need medicine in a hurry during the wee hours, Walgreens hours will change pretty dramatically on Sept. 28.

“The front part of the store will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight, and pharmacy from 8 a.m. to midnight beginning on the 28th,” Cass said.

“The pharmacy hours will be 9 to 9 on weekends.”

Cass referred all questions about why Walgreens decided to stop its 24-hour service to the corporate office in Deerfield, Ill.

The response to a query by The Press from that national headquarters was terse, to say the least.

Here is the Walgreens message, relayed by media relations specialist Allison Mack: “From time to time, we adjust an individual store’s hours of operation to best meet customer demand.”

Of course, that phrase referring to “customer demand” means simply that the store didn’t do enough business from midnight through morning to justify the costs of staffing and other overhead.

So, get used to dropping off and picking up prescriptions during the day and early evening — or prepare for a little drive.

There are two 24-hour pharmacies on East Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley — a Walgreens and a Rite Aid — and in an almost ridiculous irony, they are across the street from one another.

If you like to do price-checking and find the occasional sale, you could leave a prescription to be filled at one of the stores and maybe pick up, oh, hair spray at the other.

Just get familiar with Exit 289.

It seems crazy, but there you go: business logic.

Apparently a lot of people in Spokane Valley shop in the middle of the night.

New customers from Idaho soon may be joining them.

• • •

Is there something you wonder about? Send your question to Steve Cameron at scameron@cdapress.com.

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